Plenus “kome” Academy

Bento Library

We relived "Hiwarigo" which is a single portion Bento eaten at celebratory and memorial events and tiered food box for fall foliage based on the recipes in "Ryori Haya-Shinan". For the tiered food box, we used the most prestigious menu for cherry blossom viewing as a reference. We tried to relive as faithfully to the book as possible, including ingredients.
Enjoy the use of colors and its presentation as well.

Supervisor: Ayako Ehara, Cook: Hiromi Akahori

"Mei-mei" means individual and "Mei-mei Bento" is a single portion Bento, compared to tiered box Bento, which is shared among several people. Sheet of plain wood such as Japanese cypress was used for folded Bento boxes.


《 upper "jyu" 》

  • miso-grilled Japanese spanish mackerel
  • sweetfish poached
  • boiled burdock root
  • fish minced and steamed
  • lotus
  • tofu
  • dried bread-like pieces of wheat gluten

《 lower "jyu" 》

  • 5 rice balls
  • lightly-pickled Japanese radish
  • Ginger pickling in sweetened vinegar
  • Japanese pepper boiled down in soy

When it comes to flower viewing, Japanese people automatically associate it cherry blossom. However, people used to view wisteria, chrysanthemum, maple and other flowers as well. Bento was a must bring item for flower viewings even in the Edo period and people brought portable Bento container which can store Sake and tiered food box from home.

Bento is a synthesis of cook's sensitivity, technique in presentation and coloring, and functionality. It is an art form embodying the beauty of Japanese food that appreciates seasonal harvest in a compact space.

This style of food with 400 years of history has been recognized through out the world and become one of signature Japanese cooking. Though we have looked into its history, style of Bento is still evolving and continues to do so in the future in Japan and elsewhere. One thing that will not change despite time and place is the joy of opening the lid of Bento box.